As most people know, as a general rule for myself I am truly 100% against kibble as being an appropriate food source for cats and dogs. However, that being said, I am also very aware that not everyone feels this way. We are fortunate today to have options. Small companies that are willing to take the time to deliver wholesome, pre-made, balanced, frozen raw food to the market at affordable prices along with freeze dried options make it very easy to make the switch but still, it’s not appropriate for everyone at every time. Shelters are a good example of this and during the holiday food drives I absolutely plan on participating and buying kibble. Because of this I feel obligated to share some positive information on the subject. All kibble is not created equal. I have a list of brands I suggest to anyone who needs to feed this way. Just as with any product it’s important to stay up to date, as companies get sold, formulas change, etc. but as of now this is what I have found to be the most trusted:

Origin, Acana, Zignature or Nutrisource for dry

Honest Kitchen, Grandma Lucy’s, Humankind, Stella and Chewy’s or Primal for freeze dried.

There may be others of course but the reason I feel the way I do about kibble is simple. Most brands in the store have unregulated (AAFCO doesn’t count) labels and parent companies. They use trusted celebrities like Rachael Ray and key words that they’ve changed definitions of to make people think they are doing good for their pets. They mislead consumers and lie about things including “organic”. People are losing their animals because of this so I am heartbreakingly passionate about spreading awareness about this. Please just consider these realities. You don’t have to go raw or watch “Pet Fooled” just please consider other options. We all buy what we think is best, don’t let these companies get away with abusing key words to make us purchase their products! The cost is the same and it could literally save your animals life!

Traveling with pets

If you’re anything like me, you want to take your furry family members EVERYWHERE lol especially overnight trips! Fortunately it seems to be getting easier to do this as more hotels respond to the number of guests requesting this amenity. I know from my road trip experiences that I was relieved to find pet friendly rooms available everywhere we went! In a pinch there’s always travelodge which has a universally applied pet friendly policy for all of its hotels. We needed this once or twice driving through the middle of nowhere and we so grateful for it!

Every form of travel has its own pros and cons when it comes to ease and comfort for humans and pets. My experiences have been in cars and planes (and a ferry that doesn’t really count). I prefer the car for a lot reasons but sometimes you just need to take a plane so I can vouch for Delta as being satisfactory. They had the biggest carrier size limit available and no weight limit so this was particularly helpful to us. Jersey still just made it however so bigger dogs would be sent below cabin which I am 100% against. If she was bigger I have to admit I would really look into making her a service animal and would ONLY use it for this purpose. I’ve heard rumors that Frontier has a better pet policy but until it’s available I’m not sure id fly at all if it meant she couldn’t be with me. We only do it about once a year so luckily it is a hassle we don’t have to face too often.

Car rides are obviously longer but more comfortable. She has a seat belt for long rides and I tie her leash to the headrest for short rides because getting cut off is a pretty common occurrence where I live. We always take a cooler so it should still be easy to travel with her raw food (frozen) the only difference now is that we’d want to ask hotels in advance if the have a fridge. I won’t take chances with raw meat so if there’s no guarantees or we’re camping I would either use fresh cooked or freeze dried raw instead. (Honest Kitchen and Stella and Chewey’s are both great freeze dried food companies and easily available!) If we’re traveling by plane I usually bring the freeze dried as back up and try to get raw locally by investigating ahead of time. Some independent pet stores even let you special order! Either way we keep the freeze dried in the house because we live in a place that is very prone to the possibility of power outages and I’d rather be safe than sorry. I know I can give her other short term substitutes and things from the fridge but I just rather not be in the position of denying her a balanced meal if it’s not just very temporarily. Freeze dried raw may not be as good as fresh raw but it’s better than any alternative I’ve seen. With the holidays fast approaching and travel on the rise planning ahead can help because it’s nice to have a few less things to worry about!